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Evans Tries an O-level NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 7
Evans Tries an O-level NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Evans Tries an O-level Reading with insight
Reflecting on the story, what did you feel about Evans having the last laugh?
In this story, James Roderick Evans, a young criminal, manipulated a situation to outsmart a team of officers, headed by the Governor of HM Prison, Oxford. His ingenuity impresses the readers. One views him as a law breaker; he was a kleptomaniac, not a ferocious criminal.There was no record against him for any violence. On the contrary, he was praised by the Governor as a pleasant and amusing person. He was one of the stars at the Christmas concert and was good at imitation.
He was called “Evans the Break” by the prison officers as he had escaped three times from prison. His ability to outsmart the officers is viewed as more of a battle of wits, than a serious offence. One marvels at his cleverness—his plea to keep the hat on, impersonating the invigilator and having his friend pose as a tutor, and above all hoodwinking the police into escorting him out. One cannot but help admire him for his never-say- die attitude.
When Stephens comes back to the cell he jumps to a conclusion and the whole machinery blindly goes by his assumption, without even checking the identity of the injured ‘McLeery’. Does this show how hasty conjectures prevent one from seeing the obvious? How is the criminal able to predict such negligence?
When Stephens walked beside ‘McLeery’, he noticed that his Scots accent was more pronounced and he looked slimmer. He was happily ruminating on the fact that the Governor had asked him, and not Jackson, to see McLeery off the premises. But much to his horror, when he decided to take just one last look at Evans, he saw the injured ‘McLeery’ instead and raised an alarm. McLeery, who was actually Evans in disguise, managed to have himself escorted to the hospital from where he escaped.
Though the police had seen Evans day in and day out, yet he had managed to give them the slip. Negligence to corroborate evidence and to fall for the general frenzy, outwitted the officers and the governor. The criminal, on the other hand, observed the people around him and plotted to take advantage of their complacence and weakness. Jackson and Stephens were so anxious to outdo one another that they were taken on a ride by the criminal.
What could the Governor have done to securely bring back Evans to the prison when he caught him at the Golden Lion? Does that final act of foolishness really prove that “he was just another good-for-a-giggle, gullible governor, that was all”?
The Governor was not necessarily foolish. It was he who tracked down Evans at the Golden Lion. He was perceptive and was shown to unravel the mystery, almost single-handedly.Yet, when the prison officer handcuffed the recaptured Evans, the Governor put him in the van and easily let him escape. He committed the same mistake of assuming that Evans could no longer pull another trick. His self¬assured attitude caused him to lose to Evans who seemed alert as ever, and quick-witted.
Though the Governor was outsmarted by Evans once, he failed to anticipate that Evans could pull off a similar trick with the police officer. However, Evans comes across as a mastermind who outwitted one and all, it seemed impossible to keep up with his antics.
While we condemn the crime we are sympathetic to the criminal. Is this the reason why the prison guards develop a soft corner for those in custody?
The reason why the prison guards develop a soft comer for those in custody is that constant interaction brings people closer. There is increased understanding between them. With the passage of time they grow to empathise with the criminal. As ordinary individuals, we too identify with the characters in a book or a film, we can identify with their pain and suffering. The prison guards tend to form their personal favourites and alleviate their suffering by the little compassion they can, within legal boundaries. In this story, Evans knew of Jackson’s compassionate nature which he took advantage of, to stage his escape. Jackson let Evans keep on his tattered hat and spared him the discovery of his new haircut, facilitating his escape.
Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?
Between crime and punishment, it is mainly a battle of wits. Courts have become battlegrounds of sophistry, hyperbole, and obfuscation. This is the reason why seasoned criminals, taking advantage of the situation, go unpunished. There is a relationship between intelligence and crime. As in the story, Evans was a kleptomaniac but managed to outsmart the entire team of police officers. So much so that he was escorted out of the prison by the men in uniform, arrested and he managed to escape again in the wake of a confession.
His plan was brilliant and his tactics ingenious, such as getting his friends to masquerade as a German teacher and as the invigilator, concealing blood in a rubber ring, getting directions through the means of a question paper, and the correction of the paper. He manages to outwit the entire police force.
Evans Tries an O-level Extra Questions and Answers
Evans Tries an O-level Short Answer Questions
Who was Evans? Why were precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?
Evans was a young prisoner in the Oxford Prison who wished to appear for his O-level German exam. He was notorious for breaking out of prison, having tried it thrice. The prison officers called him “Evans the Break”. Hence, precautions were taken to guard against any of his ploys to escape.
Why had Evans been imprisoned?
James Roderick Evans had no record of violence. In fact, he was reputed to be a pleasant fellow, and was well known for his performances at the Christmas concert. However he was a habitual kleptomaniac—he stole things.
What reason did Evans give for wearing a hat? Why did he do so?
When the senior prison guard, Mr Jackson, asked Evan to take his filthy hat off, Evans begged to keep it on as it was his lucky charm. In reality, the hat was a device to hide his closely cropped hair that he would consequently use to pull off a disguise.
Who was Stuart McLeery? What did he look like?
Reverend Stuart McLeery was a priest who was called in to invigilate the exam Evans was to take. He wore a long black overcoat and a shallow-crowned clerical hat to protect himself from the steady drizzle. He wore spectacles that had thick lenses, in his right hand he carried a small brown suitcase, which contained all that he would need for his morning duties, including a sealed question paper envelope, a yellow invigilation form, a special “authentication” card from the Examinations Board, a paper knife, a Bible and a current copy of The Church Times. However, the author only provides the readers with a description of the impostor dressed as McLeery.
What were the Governor’s fears?
The Governor had made secure arrangements to guard against any possible plans for Evans to escape. He was suddenly apprehensive because Evans, he thought, could take advantage of McLeeiy. He could get him to smuggle in a chisel or a rope ladder. He was worried if McLeery had, unwittingly, brought in something— like a jack-knife, Evans could hold him hostage with such a weapon.
What was the one thing about McLeery that puzzled Jackson? How did McLeery explain this?
Jackson lightly frisked McLeery’s clothes, and came upon his reading glasses, in the spectacle case. One of the objects puzzled him sorely. It was a smallish semi-inflated rubber ring. McLeery explained that he suffered from haemorrhoids, and it served him to sit comfortably.
What was the phone call for during the examination?
The phone call, was supposedly, from the Examinations Board that instructed candidates offering German, 021-1 to note a correction. McLeery was instructed to call out the correction carried in the examination paper.
What did Evans ask for during the course of the examination? How did Stephens react to this?
Evans wanted to put a blanket around his shoulders as he claimed to be feeling cold. Stephens was sceptical of allowing Evans the benefit of the blanket to keep him from trying to suffocate McLeery. But he changed his mind, considering the prison cell was indeed cold, away from the sun’s warmth.
How was the invigilator escorted out of the prison? What was Stephens’ reaction?
Stephens escorted McLeery to the main gates. He noticed that the invigilator’s Scottish accent seemed more pronounced than ever, and his long black overcoat created the illusion that he had suddenly grown slimmer. Nevertheless, Stephens felt pleased that the Governor had asked him, and not Jackson, to see McLeery off the premises.
What shock awaited Stephens when he looked into Evan’s cell?
Stephen decided to take one last look at Evans after escorting the invigilator out. Much to his horror, he discovered the injured parson in place of Evans. He found the parson with a blanket on his shoulders, and his irregularly cropped hair covered with blood, dripping onto his priestly white collar. He shouted frantically for Jackson.
Who was the bleeding man in the cell? What was he doing?
The bleeding man in the cell was none other than Evans himself who the officials presumed to be the invigilator. McLeery, as he was presumed to be, seemed to hear the officers at hand, as his hand felt feebly for a handkerchief from his pocket, and he held it to his bleeding head. He tried to speak but could give only a long low moan.
Where did Carter take McLeery?
Carter was alarmed to see McLeery hurt. He immediately called for an ambulance, but McLeery insisted on leading them to Elsfield Way, where he claimed Evans was. The Governor told Carter to take McLeery for guidance as he was the only one who seemed to know what was happening. Carter helped McLeery into the car and McLeery told them to drive from Elsfield Way to the Headington roundabout. They headed for the Examinations Board, suspecting to find there an accomplice to Evans.
How did the Governor realize that they had mistaken Evans to be McLeery?
On being told by Carter, that the parson had been taken to the hospital from the Examination Board, he called to confirm at the Radcliffe. To his shock, the hospital staff said that McLeery had not been admitted there. The hospital claimed to have sent an ambulance which had failed to trace McLeery. It was only then that the realization dawned on the Governor how Evans had managed to pose as the injured McLeery.
Where was Evans after his escape from the prison?
Evans was at a hotel, Golden Lion, dressed smartly in a smart new hat to conceal his hair that he had cropped so closely. When the narrative returns to him, he was seen directing the receptionist to send him the morning papers.
How was Evans apprehended the last time? How did he outsmart the police again?
When Evans entered his hotel room to find the Governor, he made no effort to avoid being caught, and unravelled his plan, good-naturedly to the Governor. Following which, a prison officer handcuffed Evans and took him to the prison van. As the prison van turned right from Chipping Norton on to the Oxford Road, the ‘prison officer’ who had been silent till then unlocked the handcuffs and revealed himself to be yet another accomplice of Evans. Evans managed to stage his last escape by having an impostor stage the act of a police officer.
Evans Tries an O-level Long Answer Questions
What did the police in Oxford Prison think about James Evans?
The Governor of Oxford Prison felt that Evans was not a violent criminal. He found him to be a pleasant and an amusing character. Evans was not a violent sort of person and there was no record of his violence. In fact, he was considered quite a pleasant sort of chap. He was also an entertaining person and was one of the stars at the Christmas concert where he did imitations like that of the comedian Mike Yarwood. He was an incorrigible kleptomaniac and had an obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need.
Evans was called “Evans the Break” by the prison officers. He had thrice escaped from prison, and would not have been in Oxford Prison but for the recent wave of unrest in the maximum-security establishments in the north. Tight security kept Evans behind the bars. The Governor, personally, made sure that he did no such thing that would shame them. But, Evans was viewed as real trouble. His presence was persistently irritating to the jail authorities. The Governor doubted Evans’ interest in O-level German and thought it was a ruse to break out of prison again.
Write in detail about the preparations that were made for Evans James to write his examination.
When Evans applied for permission to appear for the O-Level Examination in German, the Governor decided to look at the security measures personally. Evans was to write the examination in his own cell. To invigilate the exam, they had decided to call one of the parsons from St Mary Mags. The authorities assumed that they would not have much trouble preventing his communication with others. The examination was to be taken in D Wing, which had a heavy outer door and a heavy inner door that led to the cell.
The two-hour examination was scheduled to start at 9.15 a.m. So the next morning, at 8.30 a.m., two prison officers, Mr Jackson and Mr Stephens, went to Evans’ cell. Mr Jackson asked Mr Stephens to take away his razor after he had finished shaving. Even his nail-scissors were taken away. Evans was allowed to retain his hat as he begged to keep with him his lucky charm. Two small square tables were brought into his cell and placed opposite each other.
They had a listening device installed in his cell, above the door, so that the Governor could listen in. Stephens had to dutifully peer through the peephole at regular intervals to keep a close watch on Evans.
How did Evans plan his escape amidst tight security?
Evans was known as “Evans the Break” by the prison officers as he had escaped three times from prison, previously. At Oxford Prison, he managed to outsmart everybody once again. He arranged for a man who came disguised as Reverend Stuart McLeery, an accomplice of Evans, while the actual parson had been locked in his apartment.
He came carrying a ring to sit on, filled with pig’s blood which helped Evans mislead the police. While he pretended to give instructions to Evans to fill in the examination sheet, McLeery actually told him of the escape plan. His corrections were clues of the escape plan. The blanket given to Evans at 10.50 a.m. helped Evans with the disguise. The cap, that was his lucky mascot, was an aid to hide the closely cropped hair which helped him look like the parson. Stuart McLeery, wore two black fronts and two collars to provide one set to Evans. After McLeery was escorted out, Mr Stephens was aghast to see McLeery sprawled in Evans’ chair with blood oozing out. He refused to go to the hospital but offered his help to find Evans. He also showed the Governor a photocopied sheet that had been carefully and cleverly superimposed over the blank page of the question paper.
McLeery led the police to Elsfield Way and from there to Headington and finally to Newbury in order to put the police off Evans’ track. When Superintendent Carter informed the Governor that McLeery was in the Radcliffe Hospital, and the Governor went to check on him, he found McLeery missing and discovered the truth about Evans’ plan. All along, it was not McLeery, but Evans who had been in the cell, pretending to be injured. He had executed the plan through his so-called invigilator, who was in reality his friend.
How did the Governor track down Evans? How did Evans outsmart him again?
Once the Governor found out that McLeery was not in the hospital, he realized the truth. They found the real McLeery bound and gagged in his study in the Broad Street. They also realized it had not been Evans impersonating McLeery who had walked out; it had been Evans impersonating McLeery who had stayed in. On the other hand, Evans, after a delightful meal, returned to the hotel Golden Lion wearing a hat to conceal his closely cropped hair. He noticed the pretty receptionist.
As he went up to his room, to his surprise, he saw the Governor sitting in his bedroom and realized that the blonde girl at the reception was an informer. The Governor, who knew a little German, had deduced “zum goldenen Lowen” meant the Golden Lion and using Evans’ Index number 313 and Centre number 271 as coordinates on an Ordnance Survey Map, he figured out the location of the Hotel. When Evans was handed to the police once again, the Governor heaved a sigh of relief. But much to everyone’s surprise, the prison van driver and the officer were impersonators who helped Evans flee right under their nose.
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